Former nChain CEO funded UK Tories without permission, report

Christen Ager-Hanssen, the former CEO of nChain, appears to have broken company law by directing the crypto firm to donate £70,000 to the UK Tory party without its shareholders’ authorization.

In July 2023, Ager-Hanssen reportedly okayed the donation to the Conservatives while in talks with senior party officials to create an app called ‘True Blue.’ He met prime minister Rishi Sunak at a summer party in June before emailing the Tories about the app that same day.

A revealed presentation claimed the True Blue app could make the party an estimated £160 million ($201 million) a year through various revenue streams, including donations and the targeted selling of branded goods to party members. The Tories claim the app is now dead. 

The Guardian reports that nChain learned of the donation after it fired Hanssen in September 2023. An nChain representative said there was “no board or shareholder approval of this donation.” 

The Guardian notes this may have broken section 366 of the Companies Act. The law prohibits companies from “making a donation or incurring political expenditure unless the transaction or the expenditure is authorized by a resolution of the members of the company.”

Christen Ager-Hanssen leaked Calvin Ayre documents

Ager-Hanssen claims he quit nChain. Afterward, he leaked documents revealing Calvin Ayre, nChain’s chief scientist, agreed to pocket up to 50% of Satoshi Nakamoto’s bitcoin that Craig Wright claimed to own. nChain had been a supporter of Craig Wright’s Satoshi claims that were ultimately found to be false.

Read more: Disputed report claims Ava Labs used law firm to get ahead of crypto rivals

Ager-Hanssen is also reportedly known for employing espionage tactics to gather information. In Mallorca, he reportedly concealed a microphone to collect information from one of Calvin Ayre’s aides. He also helped a Swedish banking tycoon fight fraud charges by attending the opposition’s legal meetings while undercover and wearing a microphone. 

Additionally, he reportedly hired a former Mossad operative to pose as an Argentinian businessman to discredit crypto lawyer Kyle Roch, who subsequently withdrew from lawsuits against Tether, Tron, and Bitfinnex in 2022. 

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